On June 12, 1987 Ronald Reagan, in a speech in West Berlin, told Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, to “tear down this Wall,” i.e. the Berlin Wall. Many of us who heard the speech or read his words at the time thought it was a complete pipe dream, at least in any of our lifetimes. The Soviet Union was a nuclear military power that enslaved a good portion of the world’s population through totalitarian dictatorship; why would they ever tear down the wall that kept many of those people enslaved. Yet, less than two and a half years later down it came.
Reagan knew something many were not willing to admit, or chose not to see. Soviet communism, any communism for that matter, is built on a lie, and as such it is ultimately unsustainable. In a speech to the British Parliament in 1982 he said the following:
It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history…. [It is] the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.
I’m not much for tides of history, but Reagan was right, Marxism-Leninism, is right where he said it would be, on the ash heap of history. Reagan knew his history; tyrannies don’t last.
I am convinced that the tyranny of modern progressivism won’t last either because it is also built on a lie. Reagan could have been referring to it rather than the Soviet Union when he used the phrase, “Stifle freedom and muzzle self-expression.”
Go to most any university or college campus in the country and stifling and muzzling are all over the place. Even liberal comedians are not exempt from the PC police. Jon Gabriel in a great piece at Ricochet nails it. He calls it the “Progressive Comedy Pause,” and friends, it is sadly hilarious:
Tell a joke to a liberal. Between your punchline and his laughter, there is a Progressive Comedy Pause. In this second or two, the liberal will process the joke to make sure he is allowed to laugh.
Is that joke racist? He mentioned Obama, but didn’t make light of him, so to speak. He also mentioned Michelle, but I didn’t notice sexism. Is it dismissive of the LGBTQIA community? Latinos? Muslims? Vegans? Will this joke hurt progressive causes? Will my laughter trivialize oppressed communities? Will I appear intolerant? I think it’s okay if I laugh. Yes, I’ll laugh now to signal my appreciation and to indicate that I’m not a joyless liberal scold.
This mentality has been around among liberals and progressives for a long time, but it has never been so culturally widespread, given social media, and never so obviously tyrannical. And as we know, the modern progressives want to control every area of our lives because, well, they know better. I’m fully convinced truth has a way of winning out over time, and in due course the progressive cultural Berlin Wall will come crashing down too. And maybe even in my lifetime!